Friday, August 20, 2004

Outta my mind on Friday moanin'

Time for some random bounces around the spiritual ping-pong table...

Good moanin'- if you're within 50 miles of Chicago, take the time to go to the Garfield Park Conservatory (check out their website here, and especially the page showing the various display houses). I'm not a big dinosaur person, so their current show ain't much to me - but the other 99% of the conservatory (and the flower show going on right now in the Show Hall, and the flowers in the outdoor gardens) are worth the $3 suggested donation (if you really don't have it, it is a "suggested" donation). A camera can't really do it justice - but don't hesitate to try. (Even my limited photo skills resulted in some neat photos!) Do not spend time in Chicago without seeing this 96-year-old living legacy.

Moanin' - CPE (clinical pastoral education - fancy name for chaplaincy internship) is ending for my fellow seminary students, and school plans are underway. So the three questions I hate more than anything are (1) How was your summer? (2) How was your CPE experience? (3) What classes are you taking this fall?

I only hate these questions because I don't feel that I really have a good answer to any of them. The summer was good in many ways - but pretty challenging and humbling in other ways. It wasn't always fun (especially the near-poverty times, and the ongoing failure to find permanent employment within the city limits) but if humility is good, then yeah - it was pretty darned good. I hate admitting to myself (let alone anyone else) that not only did I not get to do CPE, but that I'm not even qualified to do CPE, thanks to my candidacy-in-limbo status. And, to be honest, I don't want to have to admit that I not-so-secretly envy the snot out of those that did get to do CPE this summer. Don't get me wrong - I am glad for them - just jealous, I guess, and feeling a wee bit inadequate. (Unfortunately, this is not a new condition for me.)

Another humbling moanin' moment was talking to a friend who's going to meet with the same candidacy committee that put my ministry quest on ice four months ago. I don't know why, but I felt compelled to tell him to not mention my name in the presence of the committee, for his own sake. I mean, it wouldn't be fatal - after all, one committee member is a member of my home congregation, and one is a former pastor - and they might make the connection, and it would probably be OK for those two. But I guess I didn't want any taint of my once-and-future-candidacy on his meeting, so felt compelled to mention it to him. (I evidently have a lot more praying, and healing, to do about that topic.)

Good moanin' - made it to Ohio in record time, with clear skies and hardly any traffic. Thank you, God, for traveling mercies! I also had nearly 4 hours to catch up with friends via cell-phone, which is always a good thing. Know what's an even better thing? Every one of them seemed genuinely glad to hear from me. That is a definite gift from God - because that just wasn't always the case.

So, it's nearly 2 AM Eastern time, and way past time for this big boy to hit the hay, 'cause we've got three very busy days ahead of us.

A prayer for the very late close of the day:
Thank you, God of wonder and love, for the gift of the day just past, and the gift of the day nearly upon me. You have brought me safe through work and travel, and have given me the gift of food, shelter and love - and the promise of both rest, nourishment, and new life. If this is as good as it ever gets, Lord, I'll take it. Thank you! Amen.

1 comment:

Our Money Staff said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and am quite grateful to have found it. Our society behaves as if 'God is Dead' and in turn the only Chrisitans you find on TV (do people still watch that thing :) or in the media imitate despotic dictators. Sometimes it's easy to feel obsolete. Inbetween pressing us to buy this or that needless good or service to overshadow the silence, society forgets that life is very complex even while being quite simple. Being Protestant, being christian, being religious and being a critical thinker are not incompatible pressences.

I'll be tuning in regularly. Take care.